SmartSection is developed by The SmartFactory (http://www.smartfactory.ca), a division of INBOX Solutions (http://inboxinternational.com)
PSS Report April 2008
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 05/14/2008 (4587 reads)
PSS Report April 2008

PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

John Astephen, Director


Student Absenteeism

Student absenteeism is a very complex problem that has become a serious concern for all schools and school boards throughout Nova Scotia and beyond. As a result of concerns about increasing absenteeism expressed by principals at the Principals in Focus Conference in April 2006, Deputy Minister, Dennis Cochrane, mandated that a committee of principals be struck. This Provincial Attendance Committee was tasked with providing him with a report and recommendations aimed at addressing this issue. The timeline was such that this report and recommendations be completed prior to the next Principals Focus Conference slated for spring of 2007.

The committee first attempted to quantify the problem. Ten high schools were sampled to examine the number and percent of actively enrolled students who missed 10% or more of classes between September 1 – December 15, both without excuse and total absences. In total absences, 3106 of the 6848 students in the ten-school sample (45.4%) missed 10% of time in at least one class, of which 2124 were unexcused (31.0%).

From the onset, there was philosophical difference among committee members related to the use of imposed academic consequences as a deterrent to student absenteeism. However, the report attempted to align the concerns expressed by the principals with a framework comprised of four strategy categories that the literature has indicated as being essential to address the issue of absenteeism: Student Engagement; Attendance Policies; Intervention and Support; and Communication.

One of the recommendations under Student Engagement promotes the need to ‘develop and expand alternate programs aimed at engaging and retaining those students at both the high school and junior high school levels requiring alternate learning environments and experiences.’ Over the past few years, our Board and our schools have implemented a number of programming options, pilots, and initiatives in an attempt to have students become more engaged in learning which, in turn, has had a positive impact on their attendance:

  • Options and Opportunities
  • Steps to Success (expanded to Junior High)
  • Expansion of Co-op Education
  • Attendance Engagement Pilot (Cabot High School)
  • Partnership Pilot with Department of Justice
  • Partnership Pilot with NSCC for Skilled Trades
  • Orientation Programming for Junior High students

The Committee also recommended ‘that there be in place at all levels sufficient resources to provide targeted intervention and support to close achievement gaps as students transition from level to level’. Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has provided support in transitioning by providing school level support through the addition of a Transition Support Teacher, a Literacy Support Consultant, a Lead Teacher in Autism, and expansion in the area of Student Support Workers.

Recommendation #6 stated ‘that in the development of the Provincial SIS attendance data gathering and analysis be given a priority.’

Our Board Attendance Committee is presently engaged in gathering data to quantify the problem at the Board level. Attendance information is being collected from all schools P-12. In terms of communication, the committee stressed that the message of ‘Attendance Matters!’ has to reach students, parents, employers, sports and culture groups and anybody else that has an influence on whether a student is or is not in school.

School principals do monitor student attendance and they communicate directly with parents when attendance begins to become a problem. Many of our secondary schools utilize Synervoice and/or K-12 Planet which are automated call and communication systems capable of tracking and communicating student attendance to parents.

Student attendance is on the agenda of the next principals′ meeting. Principals will engage in an interactive session that will have them share challenges that they have faced and strategies or best practices that they have experienced success with.

The research on student absenteeism strongly suggests that there is no single strategy that is going to solve this problem. The Board Attendance Committee will continue to focus on recommendations addressed in the 2007 report and work with schools and other agencies in developing a more comprehensive approach to addressing this problem.


PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

The ‘Instructional Support Team’, consisting of Sheila Kublek, Bill Tennant, Dorothy Tennant, Paul Gartland and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of instructional support/technology initiatives. The Team report follows.


Assistive Technology Consultant
(Sheila Kublek)

Sheila Kublek, Assistive Technology Consultant, submitted two student profiles to the Department of Education to be reviewed for the development of an assistive technology DVD. The DVD will contain one assistive technology success story from each school board within the province. The Department of Education will make the final decision on which student to use for the DVD.

Workshops were held for Intellikeys and GUS Communication software. The workshops were aimed at specific learning centre teachers and teacher assistants.

Mrs. Kublek was a member of the committee for the Parent Conference: Supporting Success. It was reported that the conference was a great success. Parents appeared to appreciate the efforts of the planning committee in striving to inform parents of services provided by the school board and community agencies.


PD Consultant
(Bill Tennant)

There were requests from administrators for assistance with their school web pages. The technology team provided Xoops PD to teachers interested in developing and updating school web pages throughout the Board.

During the month of March, there were requests from classroom teachers to have technology site-based PD in their classrooms. A closer look at how to implement software into the curriculum along with the challenges of classroom management and teaching strategies were the main concerns.

Also, there was an opportunity to visit several schools to converse with classroom teachers about technology use in their classes. On an informal level, there were some instances where technology integration was tried and tested during the visit leading to follow-up contact and implementation of these strategies.

Planning for upcoming PD integration initiatives in April and May is ongoing. There are several workshops planned for classroom teachers in grades 5 through 9 to investigate, adapt, adopt and implement the Technology Integration Teacher Resources outlined on the CBVRSB web site.


IEIE Consultant
(Dorothy Tenant)

On-site professional development continues at schools within the board.

IEIE Grade 10 professional development sessions were held at the Staff Development Centreb on March 25 and 27. The lead teachers continue to develop technology integrated lesson plans.

LRT has made available to the board an extra amount of surplus money ($18 945.00). This is being used to buy more hardware which will go to where it is most needed. This has been delivered to operations and will be sent to the schools.

Planning for the 2008-2009 IEIE year is beginning.


PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant

A team for the launch of the Spelling P-9 document went to Halifax for two days. The documents will be sent out to the schools sometime in May.

Carl Anderson and Diane Brennick went to the preparation session for the upcoming consolidation sessions on Writers in Action 9. They are presenting a workshop at the upcoming event. A team from our board will be in-serviced in mid May in Wolfville.

The Public Speaking event is starting April 1st and will run on the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. We have approximately 125 students participating over the 7 nights.

An infusion of books for The Literacy Success 10 will be arriving in schools shortly.

Distribution lists have gone to the Department regarding numbers for writing centers for the grade nine ELA classes and also a list has gone in for a Student Writing handbook that will be going out to all grade nine students in the board. All of these resources are being sent out directly to the schools.

A team is meeting with Debbie Graham from The Strait Regional School Board on April 11th to start Curriculum mapping for ELA 7-12.

Discussions have been held in conjunction with the Math consultant regarding possible changes to Summer School for Math and English.


Nutrition for Learning, Debbie Madore, Dietitian

Applications for Health Promoting Schools (HPS) have been reviewed. Ms. Madore continues to work on group purchasing for equipment.

A donation of $7000 was received from the MacKenna Foundation Inc, who wishes to remain anonymous.

A new Breakfast Program is up and running at the four Adult schools, for a total of 58 school programs.

Golf Tournament applications have gone out. To date, there are five teams confirmed.

The Ad Hoc Committee for monitoring the Food and Nutrition Policy met in Halifax on March 6. Ms. Madore was able to participate via telephone, and it worked quite well.

Strive for Five, inservice on healthy eating promoting vegetables and fruits for school cafeterias, is being planned for April 15, with facilitator Colleen Joice, Wolfville.


Active Healthy Living, Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant

NSELC Mentoring Module 12

Mary Lou Andrea, along with three physical education teachers, Paula MacRae, Seton; Ronnie Carew, Whitney Pier Memorial; and Lanna Woodill, Glace Bay High, completed the three day NSELC Module 12 on Mentoring. These teachers will now be available to assist physical education teachers in a variety of curriculum areas.

AHL Consultants Meetings

Mary Lou Andrea attended two days of meetings in Antigonish with the other consultants across the province to discuss assessment in physical education and health and the new Physical Education 10 curriculum. A representative from Thompson Publishing was there to present snapshots of what the new resources for PE 10 would look like.


Community-Based Learning (O2 ), Rhonda Smith, Consultant

The O2 schools are preparing for the province-wide year end O2 Showcase and PD session to be held the evening of May 27 and all day May 28 at the Holiday Inn, Dartmouth. The Minister and Deputy Minister of Education will participate at some point in this 2 day event. This year′s showcase will be open to the public and plans are to include O2 student representatives from each Board.

Lisa Frizzell, Coordinator of Youth Apprenticeship, Department of Education, presented a very interactive session on apprenticeship training to O2 students at Breton Education Centre and Glace Bay High on March 19 and 20. Due to school cancellations, Holy Angels, Sydney Academy and Memorial have to be re-scheduled for May.

A Co-operative Education presentation is scheduled for April 3 for grade 10 students at Memorial High School. John Cochrane, Consultant, Department of Education, will conduct an information session for the students interested in taking Co-op education in grade 11. The session will include what Co-op education is, the components of the Co-op program, and how the students benefit by taking Co-op education.


Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

This year junior high students from Sydney Mines Jr. High, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Sherwood Park Education Centre, Whitney Pier Memorial, Morrison Jr. High and Breton Education Centre are participating in Math Olympiad. Currently each school is having school-based competitions. A committee has been formed to plan a regional competition for April 15, involving these six schools. The winning school team from this event will be invited to the Halifax Math Olympiad Regional Competition on May 3, 2008. A team is composed of twelve junior high school students, four students from each grade level, and two coaches.

High school math students participating in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League are currently practicing for the final game scheduled for April 4 at Cape Breton University. The high school team with the highest points accumulated over the three games will compete in the Nova Scotia Math League Provincial Final to be held at Acadia University in Wolfville on May 10, 2008.

On March 20, Math Consultants Sharon Boudreau and Arlene Andrecyk met with Sarah Cassidy, the Atlantic Canada Education Liaison Officer for Statistics Canada. Through the Education Outreach Program, Statistics Canada supports students and teachers across Canada by offering up-to-date Canadian information and curriculum-based learning resources. This program also provides teachers with training and support in statistics and data management. Currently, plans are underway to have Sarah Cassidy do a workshop or presentation to inform Math teachers of the resources and support available.


Nova Scotia
International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Manager

  • Twenty-two of our twenty-four new students have arrived. All of our departing students have contacted family or coordinators to inform them of their safe return to their home countries.
  • The new students are quickly adapting to their new schools; some have already become members of sports teams, taken part in tournaments and winter carnival balls and activities.
  • The CB-VRSB ISP recently hosted several agents from countries such as Korea, Colombia and Brazil. The visits entailed school tours, homestay visits, and some of the Red Cup and Coal Bowl games. Special thanks go out to the schools that assisted with this. Mr. Brian Spencer of BEC provided lunch and tickets, while Ms. Betty Crosby of RRHS provided free tickets and RRHS scarves to the agents. Our other NSISP schools provided tours for the agents as requested.
  • Talks are underway for the beginning of some special programming in the CB-VRSB. These projects include school-to-school exchanges and short-term groups. A group of ten from Brazil is confirmed for next February. We are in the process of choosing a host school for this project.
  • The new student orientation took place February 22nd -23rd . After completing the program workshops, the new students were joined by all NSISP students in our area for a pizza party/ meet and greet. On Saturday, new students took part in a full day of skiing – a first experience for most!
  • Ben McKeil from the NSISP came to do some video footage and testimonials for NSISP promotional materials. Two of our students did in-depth interviews with Ben, as did the principal of Sydney Academy, Mr. Kevin Deveaux. Kevin also provided Ben with a tour of the school and background information about their history with the NSISP.
  • Another ski day for all students took place on Friday, February 29th , 2008.
  • An article recently appeared in the community news in the New Waterford area featuring a Brazilian student who participated in the Coal Bowl and her agent who was visiting at the time.
  • Another article is to follow featuring a Colombian boy and his journey to learning the game of hockey and making the team.


Some School News

Sydney Academy, Riverview, BEC, Holy Angels, Memorial High, GBH, and SPEC all welcomed new students this month. School liaisons have been busy with welcoming activities such as lunches, school tours and meetings with school assemblies.


Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

Memorial Composite High School hosted students from across the province to compete in the 11th Annual Nova Scotia Skills Competition and Career Showcase, presented by Skills Canada ~ Nova Scotia, on Thursday, March 20, 2008. Even though the weather was against us, we were still able to complete the competitions.

The following students from Memorial Composite High school received medals:

1. Worksite Safety: Bronze: Destiny Pero, Silver: Liam MacKinnon

2. Carpentry: Gold: William Sampson

3. Electrical Wiring: Gold: Ryan Chollock , Silver: Travis White , Bronze: Pat King

4. Graphic Design: Gold: Andrew Smith , Silver: Alysha Gracie

5. Auto Service: Gold: Steve Pilon , Silver: Colin Barrie

6. Plumbing: Gold: Chris Boutiller , Silver: John Ashford , Bronze: Kyle Ivey

7. TV Video: Silver: Team of Amanda Dauphney and Michael Fazekas

‘All competitors involved in Thursday′s competitions were outstanding. It′s great to see so much interest in our province in the skilled trades and technology sectors.’ said Susanne Anderson, Executive Director, Skills Canada ~ Nova Scotia. "The gold medalists have become part of Team Nova Scotia, and will represent our province during the Canadian Skills Competition in Calgary, Alberta from May 25-28, 2008.’

In addition to the competition, the Career Showcase and interactive displays were in progress for students of Memorial Composite High School, and for visiting schools from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. This gave students hands-on learning experiences in several different skilled trades and technology career options.

Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours are continuing with most schools having already visited our school. Those that have not will be contacted in the very near future to have their tours scheduled.

The registration process has started for the next school year. Our feeder schools have been visited to help prepare students for their upcoming course selections. This will prove to be a very busy time in the upcoming weeks.

An information meeting was held on Wednesday evening, March 26, 2008 with Grade 9 students and their parents. The School Administration, Vocational Consultant, and Guidance staff presented an overview of our school, and explained what will be expected of students for the upcoming school year.

English Second Language, Stephanie Hynes and Geoff Laurence, Teachers

Our English Second Language Learners continue to receive support one-two hours per week. The focus is on the content areas but also includes lessons in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is an on-going process of finding resources, and setting up curriculum programs for the appropriate level of each individual. This position provides a challenge and unique opportunities for which the teachers are very thankful.

Students worked hard this term to create projects for the Historica Fair. For some students, this was an opportunity to educate others on their culture (i.e. Greenfield Elem.) and for others it provided an opportunity to learn more about Canada, this new place they call home (in most cases). For the most part these presentations have just begun, so teachers are expecting to see a few more in the upcoming weeks.

Professional Development

Ms. Hynes registered for an upcoming PD session on time management. This could prove to be very useful for an itinerant teacher. On Friday, March 7, Mr. Laurence received instruction on the use of Kurzweil software program at St. Michael′s Junior High.

The search for educational computer software continues and one series of interest was found to date. It is published by Random House and is called Living Language . There are four programs in the series that could benefit our students: Easy English (Basic), Easy Pronunciation, Easy American Idioms (Intermediate), and Fluent English (Advanced). There are parts of this series available online.


Things to note:

  • Unfortunately we did lose two of our students from China this past month. They relocated to New Minas to live with family.
  • Christine Patterson, a substitute teacher with the CBVRSB, who also has several years of experience working overseas teaching English has volunteered to assist in the ESL program.


Sports Animator, Jim McEachern

Highlight Update:

  1. Youth in Motion @ CBU Program Schedule for March

    • March 6: Harbourside, Greenfield
    • March 20: Mountainview, East Bay, Florence, Tompkins
    • March 27: Brookland, Florence (2nd ), Tomkins (2nd )
  2. Sport Animator attended a Provincial Animator Workshop in Halifax networking with fellow Animators.
  1. Plans continue to roll out a five school Pilot of the ‘Swim to Survive / Learn to Swim Program’ for the grade three level in the Board.
  1. Plans and schedules have all but been finalized for the ‘2nd Annual Skating Races Jamboree’, scheduled for Centre 200, Saturday, April 5/08. Close to 1000 school children from Grades Primary to Grade Seven will participate.
  1. Soccer in the Community Schedule for March:
    • March 4: St. Anne′s Elementary
    • March 18: Glace Bay Elementary
    • March 19: Glace bay Elementary
    • March 25: Mira Road Elementary
    • March 26: Greenfield Elementary
    • March 28: Tompkins Elementary
  1. Plans have commenced and registration is being called for the 3rd Annual Junior High Girls′ Softball / Boys′ Baseball Festival, hosted by Sherwood Park Education Centre, to be held May 28 – June 1, 2008, in Sydney.


Cape
Breton Regional Science Fair, True Burke, Chairperson

The Cape Breton Regional Science Fair was held March 26 at NSCC, Marconi Campus. The Fair was a huge success with over 75 projects from 12 schools participating. With over 55 judges from within the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, as well as Cape Breton University and numerous other science organizations in our community, the students had a great day. The public viewing and awards ceremony was held on March, 27, 2008 with over 200 members of our community attending. Mr. David Crane attended the event on behalf of the CB-VRSB. Numerous cash prizes were given out and four students were chosen to represent Cape Breton at the Canada Wide Science Fair to be held in Ottawa in the month of May.

The Regional Science Fair Committee suggests having a professional development day for schools interested in improving and/or starting science fair in their schools. It is recommended that this take place this year in the month of June.

The following is the list of winners from the fair.

Award

Prize

Project #

Project Title/Participants

NSERC Awards

Junior

$150.00

J – 124

Density

Matthew Evans

Intermediate

$150.00

I – 201

The Swallow on ASA

Kathleen Orrell

Senior

$150.00

S – 309

Magnetorheological Fluids

Peter Lazovskis

Health Research Awards

Junior

$100.00

J – 108

La télévision nous tue?

Karan Pahil

Intermediate

$100.00

I – 218

Do you remember?

Najala Orrell

Senior

$100.00

S – 313

Causes & Effects of Being Overweight or Obese

Natalie MacDougall

Mathematics Award

Junior

$100.00

J – 128

Pensez vite!

Patrick Cookson & Patrick Jennex

Intermediate

$100.00

I – 208

Order VS Disorder

Alyssa Moss

Senior

$100.00

S – 310

The Return of the Alter Leg:

Todd Mercer & Mike MacIsaac

Environmental Award

Junior

$100.00

J – 118

Oils Spills & Marine Life

Rebecca MacKay & Meghan LeBlanc

Intermediate

$100.00

I – 215

Going nowhere

Emilie Duggan

Senior

$100.00

S – 306

Generator Backpack: Prototype11:

Adam Brown & Dylan Drover

Enviro Expo Award

$100.00

Generator Backpack: Prototype11:

Adam Brown & Dylan Drover

APENS

$100.00

S – 310

The Return of the Alter Leg:

Todd Mercer & Mike MacIsaac

Engineering Award

$100.00

J – 113

Marshmallow Toothpick Bridge

Jarette Whitty & Lucas Hardy

APICS

$50.00

I – 208

Order VS Disorder

Alyssa Moss

Agri-science

$100.00

S – 305

Tomatoes & Fertilizers

Vicki Barrett

Chemistry Award

$100.00

I – 219

Quick Release Pills: How fast do they really work?

Melanie Secco

Smart Energy

$100.00

S – 306

Generator Backpack: Prototype11:

Adam Brown & Dylan Drover

Saint Mary′s University

$1000.00

S – 311

Keriann Dowling

Peer Choice Awards

Junior

$100.00

J – 110

Physics of Basketball

Paige MacInnis & Emily Forbes

Intermediate

$100.00

I – 218

Do you Remember?

Najala Orrell

Senior

$100.00

S – 309

Magnetorheological Fluids

Peter Lazovskis

People′s Choice Award

Prize

I - 211

Cancer & Smoking

April Sudworth

Dean of Science Award

Enthusiasm for Science

Prize

J - 111

The Science of Gumballs

Kim Dares

Prize

J – 125

Fossils and Sand dollar Formation

Taylor Chiasson

Honorable Mentions

Junior

$50.00

J – 105

Emma Shebib

Junior

J – 122

Brennan Herridge

Intermediate

$50.00

I – 209

Are you Tuned Out when you′re Plugged in?

Courtney Mercer

Intermediate

$50.00

I – 218

Do you Remember?

Najala Orrell

Senior

$50.00

S - 301

Tesla Coil

John MacAulay

Senior

$50.00

S - 309

Magnetorheological Fluids

Peter Lazovskis

Junior Division

3rd Place

$100.00

J – 126

L′identification des mati?res biodégradables

Mitchell Hanna

2nd Prize

$150.00

J – 128

Pensez vite!

Patrick Cookson & Patrick Jennex

1st Prize

$200.00

J – 108

La télévision nous tue?

Karan Pahil

Intermediate Division

3rd Place

$100.00

I – 215

Going Nowhere

Emilie Duggan

2nd Prize

$150.00

I – 210

An In-depth Comparison of Web Browsers

Johnathan MacNeil

1st Place

$200.00

I – 208

Order VS Disorder

Alyssa Moss

Senior Division

3rd Prize

$100.00

S – 302

Tuned Mass Damper: Taipei 101

Mark Deveaux

2nd Prize

$150.00

S – 306

Generator Backpack: Prototype11:

Adam Brown & Dylan Drover

1st Prize

$200.00

S – 310

The Return of the Alter Leg:

Todd Mercer & Mike MacIsaac

CWSF Winners

I – 210

An In-depth Comparison of Web Browsers

Johnathan MacNeil

I – 208

Order VS Disorder

Alyssa Moss

S - 310

The Return of the Alter Leg:

Todd Mercer & Mike MacIsaac

Best in Fair

$200.00

S – 310

The Return of the Alter Leg:

Todd Mercer & Mike MacIsaac


Student Services

David Brennick, Co-ordinator

French Second Language, Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant

The 2008 annual French Public Speaking Contest (Concours d′art oratoire) once again proved very successful. This event, sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Canadian Parents for French, witnessed 23 students participate in seven categories at our local competition on March 25-26 at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School. All local winners will now go on to compete at the provincial competition at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax on April 26, 2008. Local winners include:

Grade 7/8 Late Immersion Sara March (1st) Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School
Libby Morrison (2nd) Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School
Robert Barrett (3rd) Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School
Grade 9/10 Late Immersion (1st) Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School
Grade 11/12 Late Immersion Gary Hood (1st) Riverview
Allistair MacLellan (2nd) Sydney Academy
Holly Greer (3rd) Riverview
Grade 9/10 Francophone Timika Boudreau (1st) Riverview
5/6 Core French Ashna Asim (1st)Sydney River Elementary
Emily Milley (2nd) Glace Bay Elementary
Ashley Angelo (3rd) Glace Bay Elementary
5/6 Special Core French Roy Karam (1st) Glace Bay Elementary
Kate MacNeil (2nd) Riverside Elementary
Joseph Chiasson (3rd) Riverside Elementary

Parent meetings are ongoing to familiarize them with the Intensive Core French Pro gram. Funding to support a sixth site for grade six Intensive Core French has been requested via special project funding.

Mentoring initiatives are ongoing within the CB-VRSB for grades 4-9 Core French. Trained mentors include: Marilyn MacGillivray (BEC), Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant), and Marie Andrews (Cusack).

The Bilingual Career Exploration Day postponed from November will now take place on May 1, 2008 at the Membertou Trade and Convention Center. This event, organized by Canadian Parents for French, will offer our junior and senior high French students an opportunity to learn about the industry sectors and companies which require bilingualism, or where knowledge of French is a career asset. It will also help generate stronger links between Nova Scotians, the community at large, and the world.

Gérard Felix, French consultant Nova Scotia Department of Education will be visiting with Laurie MacIntosh and David Brennick on April 4, 2008 to discuss upcoming provincial initiatives for French second-language.

Upcoming initiatives for French second-language include:

  • In-service: Intensive Core French Teachers April 18 Riverside Elementary School.
  • French language play (Les Ricasseux) for grades six Intensive French students and grades 7-9 late French Immersion students, Savoy Theatre April 24.
  • Train the trainer session for Intensive core French - Halifax, May 28-30, 2008. Participants include Celeste Foisy-Lahey (Riverside) and Anne Cordeau (Bras d′Or Elementary).



SCHOOL SERVICES

Susan Kelley, Acting Coordinator

In conjunction with CBRM Police and Island Business Ministries Janelle Guzman, a motivational speaker and the last person rescued from the wreckage of the ′Twin Towers′ will be speaking at several of our secondary schools. This will take place April 17th at Holy Angels High and Dr. T.L. Sullivan and April 18th at Glace Bay High. Grade 9 students from several of our junior high schools will attend these sessions also.

Our board attendance committee has met and discussed some of our concerns around student attendance and engagement. We will start to gather preliminary attendance figures from all of our schools the first week of April. This data gathering will continue for the rest of this semester and we hope to resume again in September.

This year marks the 250th Anniversary of Democracy in Nova Scotia. The Department of Education, in conjunction with the Democracy 250 committee, conducted a workshop in our Board on April 11th with approximately 100 of our grade 11 students and 10 of our teachers. In the fall there will be a larger gathering in Halifax to celebrate this anniversary.

The final touches are being completed on our Emergency Response Booklet with the hope that it will be ready for printing by the end of next week. We will look at distribution in May.

Primary registration is almost complete. Plans are being made by Elementary Programs for Primary orientation in May. Junior high schools are busy registering the grade 9 students for high school. This will be finished by May 2nd .

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Donna Robson

Department of Education :

The validation draft of the Primary Program has been completed and will be shared with primary teachers at a Department of Education sponsored session that will be held in our Board on April 28-29. Donna Robson was part of the document creation. Angela Gratton-MacLeod has been invited to join the Provincial Advisory Team for Primary.

March 27-28 saw the launching of the Primary to Nine Spelling document. A lead team from our Board attended the event.

Last year the Department of Education proposed to purchase the Trehearne Kindergarten text for Boards; many went ahead with the purchase on their own. The Department has sent our Board sixty-five copies of the text.


Board

LIFT (Literacy Initiative for Teachers) LIFT continues to expand throughout our Board. Board mentors are taking a leadership role with this ongoing project. LIFT is taking on a life of its own and requires significant management as it grows.

PULS (Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success) The East Bay site is being utilized by our members and we are receiving many requests for visits to the site.

Primary Parent Fairs A tentative schedule for the upcoming Primary Fairs is as follows:

May 12 – St. Anne′s School, Glace Bay

May 13 – Greenfield School, New Waterford

May 14 – Brookland School, Sydney

May 15 – St. Joseph′s School, Sydney Mines

May 22 – Cape Smokey School, Ingonish

Children will be invited to attend the fair with their parents. We are working in conjunction with the Cape Breton Health Care Facility. Brochures are being created that will be mailed to each primary student who was registered in February. The brochure will also include information pertaining to the Board-wide Orientation Day that will be hosted by sites later in the spring.

Primary Timeline The Primary Parent Fairs will be followed up by an Orientation Day at sites that will include students attending for a day and also a parent information session that will last for forty-five to sixty minutes. Parents will be given an orientation package that will include three brochures created by Paula Muise (Reading Recovery Lead Teacher), around reading, writing and talking. This session will be hosted by Reading Recovery teachers and Board mentors. Information surrounding this session will be included on the Parent Fair brochure and will be followed up by school administration.


Making Meaning
The event is scheduled for April 20 at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. Stephen Muise is the event coordinator and this year we will have representation from grades primary to twelve.


Mentors
(
Jason Kempt, Michelle Solazzo, Geraldine Beaver, Maxine Hardy, Audrey Murphy) - Mentors are involved in a range of experiences ranging from collaborating, consulting, coaching, creating and facilitating. The model classroom at East Bay is providing them with data and a structural foundation. All mentors are involved in LIFT, East Bay, site-based mentoring and Board facilitation.


Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

March Review

Grade Four Mathematics Development Records (MDRs) - Workshops for grade four teachers, resource teachers and mentors have been completed, and teachers are meeting with parents of students who have scored below 400 on the EEMLA. There have been requests for mentors to assist those teachers in using the EEMLA results to inform their instruction.

Professional Learning Communities were very evident in the workshops. Resource teachers and classroom teachers appreciated the opportunity to work together. Evaluation sheet comments indicated that both of these groups felt supported by the presence of the mentors.

There had been concerns that including resource teachers in the workshops would result in them having to take responsibility for the MDR′s. It was made very clear at the beginning of the first session, and reiterated often during the other sessions, that it was the responsibility of the classroom teacher to complete the MDR′s and provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of their students. It was also stated that it was likely that most of the students in need were already in resource and the resource teachers agreed. During the workshops, teachers and resource teachers from the same schools sat together and mentors were dispersed among them. There were numerous discussions regarding how ‘they’ were going to support their students.

As teachers reviewed their EEMLA results, they noticed there were certain areas where all their students had difficulty and that they would focus on that strand or component. During the whole group discussions, they realized that those areas were different in different schools. They were able to see how these assessments inform instruction – assessment ‘for’ learning.


Mentoring:

Mentoring requests continue to increase. Ron Muller is a full-time elementary mentor and Theresa Devoe is a full-time junior high mentor. Other elementary mentors include Cheryl Fricker in the North of Smokey area, Susan LeBlanc-Ward in the Glace Bay area, and Tara Colbert in the Pier/New Waterford area. Another junior high mentor is Jody Mac Lean.


PRIME
:

The PRIME workshops for upper elementary resource teachers have now been completed. The resource teachers have indicated that they very much appreciate having such an excellent resource to use with those students requiring math assistance.

Schools and teachers of grade four have requested that the mentors trained in PRIME assist them in differentiated instruction.


Workshop
:

LD teachers attended a math workshop on March 17. Topics covered included working with the learning carpet as well as using the math strategies to teach multiplication and division. Teachers were given the opportunity to practice hands-on activities.


Assessment Resource:

The plan is for grades P-3 teachers to receive a copy of the new CAMUT Atlantic Canada Mathematics assessment resource in the 2008–2009 school year. At that time, there are plans to provide professional development to support this new resource.


April Plans

Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessments:

An information workshop is planned for those teachers who are new to grade three to assist them in the administration of the assessment.


PRIME:

The PRIME workshops for the three piloted schools will continue.


Workshop – Resource Teachers:

Junior/senior high resource teachers will be given a workshop where several of the math strategies will be discussed and they will be given the opportunity to practice various hands-on activities.


Summer
Academy:

Plans are now underway for our next Summer Academy. On April 7, information on the Summer Academy will be sent to schools as well as posted on the Board web site. Last summer, we focused on clustering the grade three outcomes, and we had more requests from participants than space. Participants included not only grade three teachers, but teachers of other grade levels, resource teachers, substitute teachers and university students. Many of these participants have indicated they will be returning this year, when we will have two separate academies. One will focus on clustering the grade two curriculum; the other on the grade four curriculum. Membertou Trade and Convention Centre will be our venue and registration will begin the second week in April.


Arts Education Consultant, Cathy MacNeil

Musicfest 2008 will be held at the Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, on April 14-18. Bands from across Nova Scotia including many elementary, junior and senior high bands from our Board will be performing. Jim Forde and Dr. Mark Hopkins will be two of the adjudicators for this year′s event. In one-hour sessions, each group performs selections, receives feedback on the performance, and are provided with an opportunity to work with the adjudicators. Placements of gold, silver and bronze are given for the overall presentation of each band. Music teacher, Barb Stetter, is the organizer of this event in conjunction with Musicfest Canada. The public is encouraged to attend any of the sessions at the Savoy.

The next location for the exhibit ‘Voice of Children’ will be in Greece sometime in October. The photos from the students at Sydney River Elementary will be a permanent part of this collection. Congratulations to Nancy McLean, art teacher, for involving her students in this international show.

The Annual Art Exhibit of student work, grades four to twelve, will be held at Gallery II, Cape Breton University on April 28-May 23. The opening ceremony will take place at 7:00 pm, Gallery II, on April 29.

In addition to the Gallery II display, works from advanced visual art students, grades eleven and twelve, as well as highly talented senior high students, will be featured in the Reading Room, CBU Art Gallery, during the same time period. The students involved in this display are in the process of curating their show under the guidance of Suzanne Crowdis, Art Gallery Coordinator. This is an exceptional opportunity for these artistically gifted students.

The Making Meaning event at Membertou Trade and Convention Center on April 20 will feature a number of dramatic, choral and instrumental performances by students. Artwork from students will be featured in this event which will also focus on the process of arts integration in the classroom.


Historica Fair

Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will have three projects from the 2007 Historica Fair on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, from 1:00 – 5:30 p.m., on April 17, as part of the Provincial Historica Display.


Reading
Recovery® Teacher Leader / Early Literacy Consultant, Paula Muise

Reading Recovery inservice sessions continued during the month of March and were held for all groups, despite weather issues which caused cancellations and rescheduling.

A Reading Recovery Meeting took place in Halifax with the Department of Education for Teacher Leaders and Liaison Administrators on Thursday, March 27. This was followed by a Teacher Leader professional development day on March 28. During the first week of April, the Teacher Leader Professional Development Forum will be held in Toronto.

Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Consultant Paula Muise has sent in her official notice of retirement at the end of this school year.

Reading Recovery teacher Joy Cookson continues with plans to go to Halifax for Teacher Leader training in September.


Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis

March has been an extremely busy month. All grade ten teachers have now received in-servicing around the Junior High Literacy Assessment. Administrators and teachers were very appreciative of the support they received.

Plans are now underway for in-servicing the grade three teachers regarding the Early Language Literacy Assessment. Inservice dates have been set for April 8, 15, and 16. Sessions will be held at East Bay Complex.

The results for the Elementary Literacy Assessment are now available as well. Lyn has mailed out a memo to each elementary school indicating the number of days allotted to their school for planning and meeting with parents regarding the ELA.

The Junior High Literacy Support teachers met on March 28 from 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm. Lyn and Millie George looked at Reading Records with the teachers. Time was also spent sharing materials and updating schedules. The teachers were all given a copy of the book ‘Differentiated Literacy Strategies’ which Lyn ordered for them.

April plans for Lyn begin with attending another LSAG meeting.


Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Statscan Workshop

Several Library Technicians attended a session at Cape Breton University, facilitated by Sarah Cassidy, Statistics Canada. The session provided training in areas of utilizing various statistics databases and resources to implement statistics into the curriculum. E-Stat, an online database, was explored and all in attendance discovered that statistics played a vital role in the learning process. Two attendees, Corinne Stevenson (Glace Bay High) and Ellen Gushe (Riverview), will be facilitating a session during the upcoming NSLALT Provincial Conference (Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians) in Baddeck, October, 2008.



STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

On March 29, a parent conference was held at Memorial High School for parents of students with special needs. There were approximately 130 attendees present for the conference day. Parents had 30 presentations to choose from, and there were 22 kiosks and information booths available as well. The session included presentations on programs and services provided by Board personnel such as speech language and psychology services, programs for students with autism, sensory interventions, reading and math strategies. Outside agencies such as Child and Adolescent Services, Employability Cape Breton and Horizon Achievement Centre also made presentations. Information booths included literacy programs, the Autism Society, Special Olympics, Guidance Services within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and learning disability programs.

Evaluations from the day were very positive with some suggestions for changes for future inservicing.

  View this article in PDF format Print article Send article

Navigate through the articles
Previous article PSS Report May 2008 PSS Report March 2008 Next article